Scholarships, Fellowships and Grants

These funding sources are highly sought-after in graduate schools and are thus highly competitive. The most important feature of these three sources is their lack of repayment terms. They should be applied for early and in quantity, to make sure you have the best chance to fund part of your education without debt. We have outlined the differences and highlighted a select few opportunities below.

  • Grant funding is nearly always allocated to schools as opposed to students; ask the financial aid office of potential schools whether grant funds are available. These funds are often given to students working on research or learning in a targeted area.
  • Fellowships are financial awards similar to scholarships. Generally, funds are awarded with the expectation the student meets some sort of commitment in exchange for the funding. For example, students in a master’s in nursing program may be asked to commit to working for a period of time in an underserved area, or one that serves a particular demographic.
  • Scholarships are abundant for nursing students, especially in graduate school. The wealth of government and private entities invested in creating a highly-competent nursing workforce have made vast amounts of money available to the right students. The playing field is undoubtedly competitive, but motivated students should apply.
  • The number of opportunities can be daunting. Begin your search with the nursing department and the financial aid office at your school; they will have the most current information about local opportunities. Other sources include municipal, state and federal governments, particularly departments of health or human services; privately owned medical facilities or hospital conglomerates in your area; and the extensive network of professional associations within nursing.

Read on for a short sampling of our favorite national scholarships available to nursing graduate students.

  • Editor's Picks
  • Scholarships

American Assembly for Men in Nursing

Amount
$1,000
Deadline
June 2016

This annual opportunity is available to eligible male nursing students in graduate school. Deadline for entries is in early June of each year.

AfterCollege

Amount
$2,500
Deadline
Quarterly

The AACN awards this scholarship to an applicant seeking a master’s degree and specializing in nursing education. Applicants must attend an AACN member institution.

DiversityNursing.com Education Award

Amount
$5,000
Deadline
May 2016

Full-time or part-time nursing students of any ethnicity attending an accredited school may be eligible for this award. The deadline for applications is in early May of each year.

Elaine Gelman Scholarship:

Amount
$1,000
Deadline
May 31, 2016

Funded by the National Association for Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, this scholarship is awarded to a full-time or part-time student enrolled in a pediatric nurse practitioner program.

Emergency Nurses Association Master’s Degree Scholarship

Amount
$1,500
Deadline
June 2016

The ENA funds two scholarships per year to working male emergency nurses studying to become nurse practitioners or clinical nurse specialists.

Nurses Educational Fund

Amount
$5,000
Deadline
February 1, 2016

Responsible for awarding thousands of dollars over the past 100 years to nurses in graduate school, the NEF’s Isabel McIsaac Memorial Award goes to an exceptional master’s degree candidate. Applicants must have completed 12 credits of an accredited program and have a 3.6 GPA.

NLN Foundation for Nursing Education Scholarship

Amount
$8,000
Deadline
May 2016

The National League for Nursing awards funds annually to ethnically diverse nurses who are studying nurse education at the graduate or doctoral level. Applicants must be existing members of NLN.

373 Scholarships match your search
Renewable
Minimum GPA

Fresno-Madera Medical Society Scholarship

Deadline
May 15
Renewable
Yes

Applicant must have been a resident of either Fresno or Madera counties, Calif. for at least one year and be approved for matriculation in a medical school. Award will be sent to the school of matriculation to be administered toward tuition, lab fees, books, and any other valid educational expenses.

Estelle Massey Osborne Scholarship

Deadline
March 1
Renewable
No

Applicant should be a black registered nurse who is a member of a professional nursing association and enrolled in or applying to a full-time master's degree program in nursing approved by the National League for Nursing and CCNE. Applicant must be a U.S. citizen or have declared official intention of becoming one. Applicant must submit GRE or MAT scores. Selection is based upon academic achievement and evidence of service to the profession. Send $20 check to cover postage and handling when requesting application.

M. Elizabeth Carnegie Scholarship

Deadline
March 1
Renewable
No

Applicant must be a black registered nurse and member of a professional nursing organization, be enrolled in a doctoral program in nursing or a nursing-related field, and be a U.S. citizen or have officially declared desire to become one. Selection is based upon academic achievement and evidence of service to the profession. Applicant must submit GRE or MAT scores. Send $20 check by February 1 to cover postage and handling when requesting application.

Nursing Fund Scholarship

Deadline
None
Renewable
Yes

Applicant must be an Indiana resident and demonstrate financial need. Award may be used at Indiana schools only.

Osteopathic Medical Service Scholarship

Deadline
May 1
Renewable
Yes

Applicant must be a Kansas resident enrolled in a nationally accredited osteopathy school. Preference is given to first-year students.

FNSNA Scholarship

Deadline
January 10
Renewable
No

Applicant must be enrolled at a state-approved school of nursing or pre-nursing. Graduate applicant must be pursuing his or her first nursing degree. Selection is based upon academic achievement, financial need, and involvement in student nursing organizations and community service related to health care.

Board of Governors Medical Scholarship

Deadline
May
Renewable
Yes

Applicant must be a North Carolina resident, demonstrate financial need, and intend to practice medicine in North Carolina. Minorities are encouraged to apply.

Eight and Forty Lung and Respiratory Nursing Scholarship

Deadline
May 15
Renewable
No

Applicant must be a registered nurse seeking advanced preparation for a full-time position in supervision, administration, or teaching with a direct relationship to lung and respiratory control.

Oconee Memorial Hospital Annual Scholarship

Deadline
March 1
Renewable
No

Applicant must have a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA.

Alvin and Mona Libin Scholarship in Medicine

Deadline
October 1
Renewable
No

Applicant must be an Alberta resident entering the first year at the Faculty of Medicine M.D. program and have a minimum 3.2 GPA. Selection is based upon academic merit. Extracurricular activities and community involvement are considered. Award is in Canadian dollars.

Ailene C. Ewell Scholarship Award

Deadline
February 28
Renewable
Yes

Applicant must be referred by a chapter of Chi Eta Phi Sorority. Selection is based upon financial need, scholastic ability, interest in nursing, and leadership potential.

Constance L. Lloyd/ACMPE Scholarship

Deadline
June 1
Renewable
No

Applicant must be a woman enrolled at an accredited college or university in Georgia. Applicant must submit a letter stating career goals and objectives, a resume showing employment history with a brief narrative describing specific employment responsibilities in health care field, and three letters of recommendation. Reference letters should address performance, character, potential to succeed, and need for scholarship support. Send for an application with a self-addressed, stamped, business size envelope.

Nursing Scholarship

Deadline
October 15
Renewable
No

Applicant must be a Connecticut resident studying at a Connecticut nursing school.

Alman H. Cooke Scholarship

Deadline
December 1
Renewable
Yes

Applicant must be a Connecticut resident studying at a Connecticut nursing school.

James H. Cummings Scholarship

Deadline
December 1
Renewable
Yes

Applicant must be a Connecticut resident studying at a Connecticut nursing school.

Dr. Robert Elliott Scholarship

Deadline
December 1
Renewable
Yes

Applicant must be a Connecticut resident studying at a Connecticut nursing school.

437 Scholarship

Deadline
March 28
Renewable
Yes

Applicant must prove Native American background.

Dr. Else T. Marcus Scholarship

Deadline
May 1
Renewable
No

Applicant must be a Staten Island resident and be entering a bachelor's degree program.

Betty C. Edwards Nursing Scholarship

Deadline
February 15
Renewable
No

Applicant must be a resident of Amas or Scioto County, OH pursuing an associate or bachelors degree in nursing full-time. Minimum 3.0 GPA required.

Dr. Walter Freund Memorial Scholarship

Deadline
January 31
Renewable
No

Applicant must submit scores from Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).

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Loans

A loan, by definition, must be repaid. It’s important for graduate students to remember, that while some federal loans are similar to those offered to undergraduates, interest and repayment is structured quite differently. Undergraduate loans carry subsidized interest, which means that not only is the repayment period deferred until graduation, but the loan interest is paid by the government during school. When graduate students borrow from the same funding pool, interest begins to accrue immediately. Over time, accrued interest can add up to enormous amounts of money.

Private lending agencies will arrange tuition loans with graduate students who have good credit. Students can apply at their personal banks or through major lenders like Sallie Mae. There is no standard in place for interest rates or repayment schedules on these loans, so attention should be paid to details. Many students consider these loans a last-resort option, because they carry higher interest rates and less forgiving repayment options.

Nurses have an additional option, specific to their career. The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) offers a low-interest, need-based loan to nursing students pursuing education up to the doctoral level known as an HRSA Nursing Student Loan. Participating schools evaluate and award these loans.

Loan Comparison Chart

Stafford
Eligibility Requirements No previous federal loan defaults; Must attend school at least half time
FAFSA Yes
Credit Check No
Amount Available Up to $20,500/year; $138,500 for entirety of degree
Interest Rates Tied to 10-year treasury note + 3.6%; Maximum of 9.5%
Fixed Rate/Subsidized Yes/No
Repayment 6 months after leaving school
Income-based repayment Yes
Forgiveness After 20-25 years; 10 years for public servants
Graduate Plus
Eligibility Requirements Must attend school at least half time; acceptable credit
FAFSA Yes
Credit Check Yes
Amount Available Full cost of graduate study, including living expenses
Interest Rates Tied to 10-year treasury note + 4.6%; maximum of 10.5%
Fixed Rate/Subsidized Yes/No
Repayment Deferred until 6 months after school or after attendance drops below half time
Income-based repayment Yes
Forgiveness After 10 years if employed in nonprofit or government
Perkins
Eligibility Requirements Must qualify as low-income student; income cut-off varies by school
FAFSA Yes
Credit Check No
Amount Available $8,000/year; varies according to college
Interest Rates 5%
Fixed Rate/Subsidized Yes/Yes
Repayment 9 months after leaving school
Income-based repayment Yes
Forgiveness Various Cases
Private
Eligibility Requirements Based on credit
FAFSA No
Credit Check Yes
Amount Available Varies
Interest Rates Varies
Fixed Rate/Subsidized No/No (Usually)
Repayment Immediately (Generally)
Income-based repayment No
Forgiveness No

Teacher, Graduate or Research Assistant Jobs

Similar to an undergraduate work-study job, TA, GA or RA positions often provide students with a cash stipend or tuition reduction. Grad students aspiring to work in nursing research or nursing education may find these to be a solid fit for financial assistance. In addition to stipends that cover costs like tuition, classroom materials or living expenses, serving in these positions can provide valuable work experience viewed positively by future employers. Graduate schools manage their individual programs; contact your school’s financial aid department for more information.